Monday, September 07, 2009

Iraq violence claims 26 lives, leaves 44 wounded

In this morning's New York Times, Thom Shanker reported that the Congressional Research Service's "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations" found the US the biggest supplier of weapons in the world and, in contrast to the domestic and global recession, the US has actually increased its selling of death toys and destruction instruments in 2008 ($37.8 billion in revenues versuse 2007's $25.4 billion). The next closet competitor is Italy which raked in approximately one-tenth of the monies the US did ($3.7 billion).

Yesterday's violence trend in Iraq was attacks on checkpoints with 3 attacks in Mosul on army and police checkpoints. Attacks on checkpoints continued today leading Marc Santora (New York Times) to note:

For those seeking to undermine the Iraqi government, attacking checkpoints is a natural way to undermine public confidence. However, the attacks at checkpoints could also indicate a frustration at being able to penetrate attack more populated areas, Iraqi officials say.

Which isn't really say much, now is it? No, it's not.

AP reports a suicide car bombing outside Ramadi (western Iraq) which claimed at least 7 lives (ten reported wounded) and they quote eye witness Mohammed Hussein Alwan stating, "I ran to the site and saw five burning cars and a child who was thrown by the explosion and landed on top of a car. I tried to approach him to see whether he was alive or dead but the police started to open fire in all directions and we had to run away." Reuters notes (specifically Ali al-Mashhadani but the other Reuters items do not have bylines) that the death toll has climbed to nine (with thirteen injured) and they note a a sticky bombing (attached to a minibus) outside Kerbala (southern Iraq) which claimed at least 4 lives (eight injured) while a car bombing outside Ramadi (western Iraq) claimed 7 lives (sixteen wounded).

In other violence today, Reuters notes a Baghdad sticky bombing attack on an Iraqi military checkpoint (two soldiers and three civilians injured), a Baghdad sticky bombing attack on an Iraqi police checkpoint (claimed the life of 1 civilian, wounded eight more and also injured two police officers), a Baghdad sticky bombing that injured "an employee in Iraq's cabinet," a Kirkuk hand grenade incident in which 2 "teenage brothers" died, 1 "employee in the state-run North Oil Company" was shot dead in Kirkuk and, dropping back to yesterday, a Mosul sticky bombing that claimed the life of 1 "police colonel and his son".

David Zeiger, Director of Sir! No Sir! and Bestor Cram, Director of Unfinished Symphony note:

Episode Five: This is Not Human Nature available now. Click here
This Is Where We Take Our Stand discussed in a New York Times piece on the antiwar movement and Afghanistan.
Click here
Episode Five of the ground breaking web series, This is Where We Take Our Stand, is now live at http://www.
"This is Not Human Nature" tells the story of the Iraq Veterans Against the War members' struggle to bring hundreds of veterans to Washington, DC, to tell their stories and reveal the true nature of these occupations. If you've watched the first four episodes, you won't want to miss this one.
And if you haven't, WATCH THEM.
This is Where We Take Our Stand is a series that can and should help push the debate about these wars back on to the table. Experience the series, send this email to everyone you know, and spread the word!
This is Not Human Nature: For the first time in history, women have combat and other front-line roles in the U.S. military, yet the military today is rife with sexual harassment, as Wendy Barranco reveals. Is this progress? Is it inevitable? Human nature? Or perhaps it's the sign of a deeper malignancy. For Wendy, her treatment was "the last thing I would have imagined from my own peers and comrades."
This is Where We Take Our Stand, the series that tells the riveting and timely story of the hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who testified at last year's Winter Soldier investigation, continues today. Watch episode five, tell friends, forward this email, spread the word and fan the debate. These stories must be heard.
Stay tuned for the final episode:
Episode Six: No Longer a Monster will launch September 20, 2009.
Spread the link and mark your calendar!

Because this is technically the 'weekend' for some community members, I won't embed the video today. But we'll embed one tomorrow and may do all of them this week (through Friday -- some of those using home computers -- with dial up connections -- have slower connections and videos can mean the page takes forever to load or they get script errors -- for that reason, we don't embed videos on the weekend and that's also why we try to make sure any embedding of videos at Third appears on the second page of an edition and not on the main page).

Next up, Kat reviews a CD release of two classic Cass Elliot albums.

Liz Sly has an article worth reading in this morning's Los Angeles Times but Kat and I are both trying to figure out what's wrong with Flickr (can't get it to upload right now) so I'll just offer the link. It's on the new face of US occupation in Iraq.

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